How to Take Care of your Hearing Aid

By: Kelly Calkins

In order to better understand how to care for your hearing aid, you need to understand how they work. Even though hearing aids differ with special features, technology level, volume controls, amplication, design, and size, they all have the same basic components. All Hearing Aids regardless of style have a microphone, amplifier, receiver, and a battery.

There are several different styles of hearing aids with their own design and comfort. Some of the different styles of hearing aids are the in-the-canal hearing aid, the in-the-ear hearing aid and the behind-the-ear hearing aid. You will also find a few other hearings aids that have a specific purpose such as bone conductive hearing aids (BAHA) for those who do not have an outer ear or ear canal and the hearing aid that moves the sound from one ear to the other ear. Custom-made hearing aids can even be built into eyeglasses for convenience and comfort.

There are three basic types of technology used in hearing aids: The conventional hearing aid, the analog hearing aid, and the digital hearing aid. Almost all hearing aid users find that digital hearing aids are far superior to any other type of hearing aid. Some hearing aids have special features such as a telephone switch (T-coil) for switching between normal hearing and talking or listening on a telephone. Most T-coils today are automatic and can sense when a telephone is placed near the ear. Directional microphones are a new feature that enable you to pick up sounds in front of you while automatically reducing sounds from behind you to help with conversations in noisy places such as restaurants.

Keeping the hearing aid clean is the number one thing you can do to ensure that it lasts a long time and works properly. To protect your new investment, I highly recommend buying a Dri Aid kit. Hearings aids are just like any other electronic device: they need to stay dry! If the sensitive digital equipment inside the hearing aid gets wet, it wont work anymore. With Dri Aid kit, you can you extract moisture out of the hearing aid by keeping it in a pouch or canister while you sleep at night. The desiccant materials in the container absorb the moisture that has entered the hearing aid through daily use.

To clean the hearing aid, you will need a brush and wire loop and a Kleenex. The hearing aid should have come with a brush and a wire loop, but if not, you can use an old toothbrush (just make sure it is clean and dry). You need to wipe off the part of the hearing aid that fits into the ear canal very gently with a Kleenex and use the brush or wire pick to remove any earwax that may be found by the opening of the hearing aid that fits into the ear. Make sure you open the door to the battery and turn off the hearing aid before putting it in the case for the night.

If you have a behind the ear hearing aid, you can gently and carefully wash the earmold with warm water and a mild soap. Be very careful not to saturate the hearing aid with water or soap. The tubing on this type of hearing aid does need to be replaced every three or four months. Changing this tube is important because it will become hard and will not amplify sound as well. You should never use alcohol or any other solvent to clean the hearing aids. There are sprays that are specially made to clean hearing aids and they do not breakdown the materials used to make the hearing aid.

Some simple tips to remember when cleaning your hearing aids are not to drop it on a hard surface. Do not expose the hearing aid to direct heat and do not get the hearing aid wet. Also keep in mind that pets LOVE to chew on small shiny objects. Keep them out of their reach! If you remember these tips and keep your hearing aid clean, you hearing aid should last you for a very long time.

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